by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either a print or kindle copy of Fifth Night, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Four Cold Cases…Closed!
Jillian Hanford is finding a great deal of success these days. At Turtle Cove Resort, a writers’ retreat she manages, several renovation projects have been completed, and eight writers have taken up permanent residence. Her half-brother Garrett, owner of the resort and long-time resident of Gull Island, has returned to live in the main house full time after recovering from a stroke, and although not a writer, he has a lot to offer with insights to local matters. Although she seems to have embraced, or at least found ways to dismiss, the frequent juvenile reference to her and her beau as “Jack and Jill,” she and Jackson Jones are enjoying a pleasantly evolving committed relationship. With good friends and family, she seems destined to become a permanent member of this island community.
The resident writers of various ages and genres are also enjoying their successes, too. They have banded together well as the Mystery Mastermind Group where any one of them can bring up for consideration a cold case of personal or professional interest. The cases have ranged from murder to accidents to, now, a suicide, cold by a few months to several decades. They are discussed, and if they all agree, jointly investigated in the hopes of uncovering the truth and bringing closure. Joining in, the group relies on the local deputy and various quirky residents. Although often not without personal jeopardy, several cold cases have been closed.
Brit Baxter, hoping to live her dream as a writer, has taken up residence at the retreat with her uncle George Baxter, a professional writer of traditional whodunnits and the most senior of the group. She hopes to use her experiences and theirs to further her career into the world of writing. So it is Brit who introduces to the group Abby Boston, a pregnant and recently widowed mother of four. Abby is adamant that her husband Bobby Boston did not commit suicide, and asks the group to prove it was murder. The insurance company will not pay out for suicide, her house payments are in the rears, and her family’s future is bleak. The group decides to answer Abby’s plea.
The details reveal five recent events of arson leaving one dead and one suicide. Bobby Boston, Abby’s husband, was found asphyxiated in his car, a typed note next to him confessing to the arsons and the ultimate fatality in the fifth fire. Although law enforcement may have had some “niggling” feelings, it seemed a cut and dry case of suicide. The fires, handsomely paid out by different insurance companies, seem unrelated. The property owners were out of town when their boat, barn, or businesses was burned to the ground, and Bobby was a firefighter with the requisite skills to do the job. But, as the group and Deputy Savage review details, the final verdict against Booby may have been a rush to closure. Motives? Alibis? Crime scene discrepancies? All are reviewed, and more questions are raised.
Once again Kathi Daley has penned an intriguing mystery for these amateur sleuths to unravel. The meticulous techniques used include research through official reports and newspaper archives along with informal interviews with key witnesses and suspects, but as safe as this may seem, someone always ends up in jeopardy when their snooping gets too close. The arson and suicide seems a clear cut focus, but Kathi Daley weaves in several of the ongoing personal relationships including the monkey wrench in the arrival of Jack’s mother, ins and outs of the small community, input from Gertie’s ghost or Garrett’s parrot (both are quirky, but no paranormal hocus-pocus), an upcoming Spring Fling planning, and the serious concerns over a developer moving to build a resort in the island’s sensitive wetlands. There’s a lot to digest, but a lot to enjoy.
Each story is an enjoyable standalone. Although some references are made about the past investigations, and after five books, relationships are in full swing, but a newbie will not feel anything is missing and will enjoy the unfolding mystery like us full-time fans. Like all of Kathi Daley’s books, it is the characters in which I am invested. Their history, connections, skills, and hopes for their future are often weaved into the plot. That makes her work so popular.
Fifth Night earns 5/5 Fiery Fun…A Signature Engaging Mystery by Kathi Daley!
To enter to win either a print or kindle copy of Fifth Night, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “fifth,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 24, 2018. U.S. residents only for the print copy. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address. PLEASE STATE IN ENTRY WHETHER YOU WANT PRINT OR KINDLE.
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